After three years of tremendous success, Tamaso Ma JyotirGamaya, the Walk against Blindness is all set for its fourth edition on 8th January 2017 at 7:30 am on Palm Beach Road in Sanpada, Navi Mumbai. Organised by Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute (AEHI) and One Vision Health and Research Foundation, TMJ has been seeing a record-breaking number of participants come on the streets every year to make it the largest ever walk to raise awareness for eye pledging and eye donation. Last year in January 2016, 10500 people joined the walk.
While it is encouraging to see an India that is increasingly vociferous about its opinions on what is good for the country and what is not, we still seem to be doing nothing much about what we do with our eyes after we are gone. The statistics paint a dismal picture of the situation: the National Program for Control of Blindness states that 1.2 lakh Indians are blind from diseases of the cornea, the outer clear layer of our eye. And about 25 – 30 thousand new cases are added each year to this humongous backlog. Can’t modern medicine provide a solution for this? Of course, it has – newer techniques of cornea transplantation mean that many of these 1.2 lakh Indians can be given back their sight, if only the 1.2 billion of us cared enough to get over our inhibitions and ignorance towards eye donation.
TMJ, The Walk Against Blindness aims to motivate people to get over their inhibitions and overcome the shortage of corneas. And it pushes across this sombre message in a very light hearted, fun filled way. The walk has dance and song, refreshments, fervent sloganeering, celebrity performances and an energetic anchoring by the live wire RJ Archana from Radiocity of ‘Salil and Archana’ fame. This year, the Walk was preceded by a Carnival in the top eight colleges of Navi Mumbai which saw college students participating in singing, dancing and video making contests as pre-event activities. The finalists of these contests will be showcasing their talent during the Walk.
This year’s edition is expecting to touch the 15,000 mark which includes hundreds of doctors, students from all the schools in Navi Mumbai, college kids, senior citizens and dozens of social organizations and NGOs. Mr. Satish Mathur, Director General of Police, Maharashtra State, the Chief Guest of Honour will be joined by the Mayor of Navi Mumbai, Mr. Sudhakar Sonawane and Dr. Nitin Kadam Trustee MGM Trust, to inspire people to pledge their eyes for eye donation. Nookkad Nation, Tata Motors, Humanity First Foundation, Evolve Business School, Direct To You, Lions Club, Rotary Club, Y Guys, New Bombay Punjabi Association, Kutch Yuvak Sangh, Schools and Colleges like Avalon Heights, Goldcrest vashi, Ryan vashi, Ryan Sanpada, Ryan Kharghar, St. Lawrence, St.mary’s school koperkhairane, PVG’s Vidya Bhavan, Poddar International, Sterling NCRD(Commerce and , ICL College, SIES College, Modern College, Pillai College,ITM hotel management, Yashwantrao Chavan College, Fr.Agnel polytechnic, CKT college, D.Y.Patil university school of Management, KLE College, Saraswati College of engineering, Hellen Keller Institute for Deaf and Deaf Blind, Indian Navy, Anti-Corruption Intelligence Committee, NGOs Awaaz, Aarambh, Tarun Mitr Mandal, Jan Seva Mitr Mandal, Agarwal Samaj, Lohana Samaj, Kannada Samaj, Mangalam Foundation, MITR Hospital, Yerala Medical Trust, Indian Merchant Chamber, Achievers Zone and Success Foundation are just few of many organizations that have extended their support for this cause.
Dr. Vandana Jain, Cornea & Cataract Surgeon and Director of Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute (AEHI) said,” We have now more and more people in Navi Mumbai registering for eye donation on our website as well within the eye hospital. With the events such as the walk against blindness, we plan to raise funds for poor patients for surgeries also. Last year we did 500 free surgeries and distributed free spectacles to more than 5000 old people. These were all poor patients who could not afford treatment for even 500 rs. We also adopted some villages in the nearby areas with help of One Vision Health and Research Foundation for free eye care. I urge all Navi mumbaikars to work towards making Navi Mumbai a model city with the highest rates of eye donation and completely blindness free.”
The walk will be flagged off by Mr Satish Mathur at 7:30 am at AEHI, Sector 17, Palm Beach Road, Sanpada. Participants can register for the walk for free by sending an SMS TMJ to 9167 360 360 or visiting www.walkagainstblindness.com. This new year, let’s vow to go beyond just talking and let’s actually do something for our countrymen! Be there to make a difference!